Thursday, July 16, 2009

God of second chances

Wednesday morning I sat at an IHOP, there for a very early meeting.  One of our elders shared out of the book of Jonah; a little nugget that I might have glossed over.  It is found in chapter 3, verse 1;

"Then the Word of the Lord came to Jonah a second time."  (Jonah 3:1)

You know the story - Jonah is called to go to Ninevah; he doesn't like the idea and thinks God is being too kind so he pouts, argues, and refuses to go.  Unfortunately for him, he couldn't outrun God, who found him on a boat...and from there, big storm, draw straws, overboard, big fish, repentant prayer, vomitted out on the beach, and...beautifully, a second chance.

"The word of the Lord came to Jonah a second time."

Those words must have been "life" to Jonah...he got a second chance.

Here's the interesting thing; when I look back on my life, how many times have I been a "Jonah?"  Hearing God's voice, knowing what to do or knowing the "right" thing to do, and yet turning the other way?  And yet, the moment you repent and turn back to God, there He is ready to give you a second chance...and a third chance...and a fourth chance.

Many times I have prayed; "God, forgive me for...for not speaking to that person you told me to speak to, for not giving to that person you told me to give, for acting out of fear and shrinking back when you told me to forth in courage, for saying that unkind thing to my wife when you warned me not to say it, for so many things...forgive me, and please, Lord, give me a second chance."  You know what's funny?  God loves to answer that prayer.  And don't miss an important thing here - the 2nd chance came after Jonah's prayer of repentance.

How about you?  Have you reflected on all of the 2nd chances you've been given?  Thank you Lord.

Let us strive together, however, to listen to God and obey the first time - to live by the power of the Holy Spirit, to heed His voice and to follow.

1 comment:

TruthStands said...

Mike, I don't know if you're familiar with Sovereign Grace Music, but I just bought this album and I think you'd love it!

I love the God-centeredness of your blog!

- Gabe Powell